“Loading Zone” by Tara Deal

23 March 2018 on Blog, Poetry  

There can be only one New York
morning when you discover
the gingko trees
lose their leaves all at once, give up, make a mess. Velvet
is elsewhere

and then some

more pieces of the puzzle
settle on cement. There was a box on the edge
of an open window. There was a cat in a box.
Someone cried
but couldn’t catch it, and now old men look
like they’ve forgotten
fingerless gloves while playing chess
in the park.
The season is always colder than you thought. Hot dogs,
dirty water. Carousels. Mustard-colored
sweaters from the thrift store: Do other people’s things
even/ever fit? Alterations!
The tailor and the cobbler and the pizza maker
share a space and now
is the hour
for coffee. Cash for diamonds. Gold exchange. Reasonable rates.
A taxi will take you.
A yacht on the river
goes behind a skyscraper—what
more do you want? Objects cannot
be observed
without moving—

wait for the light, the signal, the sign—

Pay Inside!

Stop and smell the flowers in buckets. Feel free.
Paper or plastic. Canary yellow. Candy in pockets:
lemon drops, butterscotch.

Someone is sweeping up the trash,
someone is being swept away

down the sidewalk, in a rush like a flash, flooding, past
the bodega, bank, bodega, whatever,
then that store that stops time,

no, fixes watches.


Tara Deal is the author of That Night Alive, winner of the 2016 novella prize from Miami University Press. Her previous book, Palms Are Not Trees After All, won the 2007 novella prize from Texas Review Press. Her work has also appeared in failbetter, Tampa Review Online, and Washington Square Review, among others. She lives in New York City.

Photography by Patricia Leonard.

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